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Becoming a Makeup Artist

Makeup Artist Education

A licensed makeup artist will have many more career opportunities than someone who has not received professional training in their craft.

How much money does a makeup artist make?

Because there are a variety of niches where a makeup artist can use their skills, there are as many different pay scales. In the movie and theater industry, a makeup artist can make $66,560 per year. Depending on where you align yourself in the industry, as a makeup artist you can make anywhere between $20,490 to well over $100,000 per year. It really is that broad of a spectrum.

What does a makeup artist do?

Makeup artists have a really cool job. They apply makeup and style hair for individuals (or groups) appearing in front of a camera, in public or on stage. Makeup artists work in the film, television, theater and concert industries and help the performer look their best in front of live audiences.

Specialty classes, above and beyond those taken in cosmetology school, are necessary for the field. Courses such as theatrical makeup and special effects makeup should be taken. Knowledge of how to completely change a person’s entire appearance or simply using make up to accentuate facial features are skills needed in the field of make-up artistry.

What does a freelance makeup artist do?

A freelance makeup artist works for themselves. They are in control of their own hours and who they take on as clients. The freelance makeup artist still has to attend cosmetology school and gain certification as per their state requirements.

Becoming a freelance makeup artist, you build your own clientele and you do your own marketing. You’d need to build up a portfolio to prove your skills so potential clients can inspect your work. Many freelance makeup artists apply makeup for special occasions such as weddings and events. But, they also can find themselves working within the motion picture industry. Oftentimes, their businesses grow through word of mouth. Nowadays, with social media, it makes it easier to showcase your work immediately, bringing more eyes and potentially more clients. Freelance makeup artists can decide what works best for their business.

Start a search through local schools offering makeup artist training programs on our state list page.

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